This is a limited-edition bespoke Louis Vuitton, which Dr. Teo ordered four years ago. It’s made of delicate calfskin, personalized with her name and date of production. She treasures this piece, which she wishes to pass on to her daughter, Keli. “She will have a piece of me and my fashion during my time,” says Dr. Teo.
Help! I’m A Bagaholic! – Function precedes fashion
Stylish and impeccably dressed, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo is much more than your average dermatologist. Indeed, the beauty proprietor of The Skin & Laser and Aesthetic Center, as well as the The Aivee Aguilar-Teo MD Anti-Aging Institute, has a fondness for luxury designer bags.
“My bags are mostly practical and functional,” says this busy working woman and mother of three young kids. Her collection includes the iconic Hermès “Kelly” handbag, named after actress Grace Kelly, and handmade in leather by French artisans. “I use it for work, for travel, and even for a business event,” she says. “In fact, it is my most worn out bag, since it’s been overused and abused.”
She used to think the bigger the bag, the more impressive it would be, but she has since embraced the collector’s wisdom: “The smaller and lighter the bag, the better for me. I tend to like bags I can sling over my shoulder, so I have my hands free to do other things,” she says.
Just as she loves to collect statement pieces and works of art from both local and international fashion designers, her love for designer bags extends to a striking collection of minaudières from Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen, classic pieces from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès, as well as Moynat, a luxury Parisian brand. She hopes to someday pass on her extraordinary collection to her daughter, Keli.
The first designer bag she ever owned was a Gucci “Bamboo,” a gift from her father for her perseverance and hard work through 14 years of medical studies and residency training.
When she finally graduated from medical school, she purchased a set of bags and a wallet from Coach. “It meant a lot to me because at that time, they were the only ones I could afford with my own money,” she recalls fondly.
Dr. Teo believes a bag can make or break an outfit, but insists that one doesn’t have to carry expensive designer bags to look good. “‘It’ bags only last a season, so I don’t find them worth investing in,” she says.
When asked about her most prized possession, it would be a purple clutch, a gift from her seven-year-old son, Kenz. “He got it for me from his own allowance for Mother’s Day,” she says, beaming with pride.
“He actually picked it out himself with his own money, and that’s why it means a lot to me. Every time I use it, he’s very happy, which really warms my heart!”
“When buying a bag consider practicality! Buy a bag you’ll be comfortable wearing.” – Dr. Aivee Teo, Dermatologist